Chris Hold – Traditional Tattoos

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About Me

Born in 1976, Chris was introduced to tattoo indirectly through his first true love: skateboarding. In 1985, at the tender and impressionable age of nine he’d pore over every issue of Thrasher and Transworld Skateboarding, admiring the skating and the way design, photography and illustration made those skate magazines rich and fascinating enough to warrant hundreds of readings.

One particular issue featured a photo of young, tattooed bassist Harley Flanagan of the band Cro-Mags, bare-chested, growling at an unseen audience. His large, menacing chest tattoo, (something rarely worn by someone that young) made a monumental impact on Chris that forever cemented the connection between music, tattoos, and skateboarding. Threads that would run continually through his life.

Drawing became a passion, obsession, and a means of entertainment and distraction during dull classes at grade school. When he wasn’t drawing, he’d be skating. When not skating, he could be found drawing or painting… anything: sketchbooks, murals, canvases, grip tape, graffiti, and more.

In 1994, seeing obvious potential in nascent digital drawing technologies and after acquiring a Wacom tablet, Chris began exploring drawing and painting in Photoshop. Skater-artists like Jim Phillips, Sean Cliver, Pushead, Mark Gonzales, Chris Miller, VCJ, Don Pendleton, and Andy Howell were key contributors to underground culture, and served as inspirations in this era.

After a short internship with a local fledgling design company he met through happenstance while working at a book shop, Chris leapt fully into web design and development and, though almost entirely self-taught, spent over a decade working and teaching design. His path in the design field culminated in several years as a designer/project manager at a busy local agency, and teaching several courses in the Electronic Media Design, and Continuing Studies programs at Langara College.

After spending a couple years studying illustration at Sheridan University in Oakville, Ontario, Chris returned to his native Vancouver, BC and making a slight shift in focus by 2006, had earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Design from Emily Carr University. Following his studies, Chris returned to his design career but the obsession with becoming a tattooer had its claws in deep. Two years later, in 2008, he was fortunate to find an apprenticeship on Vancouver Island.

Facing an offer that was too tempting to refuse, an offer to work in one of the busiest street shops in his home city of Vancouver, Chris returned to the mainland in 2010. He continues to live and work in Vancouver, BC. Where he is co-owner of Palace Tattoo with his longtime friend, and fellow tattooer, Nick Wasko.